Asakusa Shop Update


The Mokuhankan Asakusa shop is still closed. Most of our employees are at home, doing as much of their work as possible in isolation. Our printing staff - working away from the public view - are very busy trying to keep up with their work, and our shipping centre (isolated from Tokyo) is operating as normal, so online and subscription shipments should continue as usual.

We will continue monitoring the situation, and will re-open the shop when it seems appropriate to do so. Thank you for your understanding.


Shipping Update


With Japan's borders still closed to tourists, and the consequent reduction in flights to/from this country, package delivery has been severely impacted. On top of this, many countries are reporting that their postal systems are encountering difficulties in properly processing shipments. We are using tracking wherever possible on our packages, so it should be possible to determine where/when your prints will arrive.

Here are comments from the Japanese Post office covering the current situation with various international postal services. Some countries are accepting mail, others are not.

USA: The Japanese Post Office has resumed EMS service to the US. They had been accepting 'Small Packet' (no tracking) and 'E Packet' (trackable) items, but suddenly stopped taking these. So we send such items through our alternate delivery system: every ten days or so we make a 'bulk shipment' of combined customer orders - via FedEx - to a US address (Hi Jed!), from where the packages are then shipped via domestic USPS. It takes a bit longer than it used to, but things are moving through steadily and safely ... Thank you for your patience!

Europe: As expected given the recent news, we are encountering major difficulties with shipping to Europe. The Japanese Post Office is not accepting anything for that region at all. Please refrain from placing any orders until the situation recovers. Update: workaround now in place! We are including packages bound for Europe into our now-very-frequent FedEx boxes for the US, and our now-very-hard-working-team over there is shipping them out to European destinations. Delivery will of course take longer, but packages are moving through.

UK: The UK is particularly difficult for us right now: the Japanese post office will not accept 'packages' of any kind, only 'Air Mail' (technically only 'letters', but we've been able to get smaller packages sent that way. This is expensive, has no tracking, but does seem to be getting through, although taking very long. For larger items we would normally send through the US as mentioned above, but the USPS has a regulation that requires VAT numbers for recipients in the UK, which makes things difficult for that route. This one is tough right now - we are holding many packages here, pending postal developments.

Australia: Severe disruption. The Japanese Post Office has shut down acceptance for anything other than Sea Post. No EMS, no E-Packet, no Small Packet ... nothing other than letters (which are not allowed to contain anything other than a 'letter' ... we have tried). One option is FedEx, who are accepting for Australia, but this is far more expensive (and still takes weeks to arrive.) We have implemented a 'work-around' similar to our US system described above: we are sending 'packages of packages' to a contact in Hong Kong, already labelled and postage pre-paid for the Hong Kong Post Office. Once they arrive there, they are dropped into that system for delivery to Australia, and Hong Kong tracking numbers are available. [Update: the post office here has now begun accepting small 'Air Mail' items for Australia, so small subscription prints, postcard-size prints and similar items, can now be shipped.]

Canada: it has been 'on again - off again' with Canada, and it is still 'off'. We are routing everything through the US as described above. They are getting through, but it is of course taking a bit longer, and tracking is only available for the final leg ...

Russia/Ukraine: As you might expect, all orders/subscriptions/shipments to Russia and the Ukraine are suspended until further notice.

Eastern Europe: This region is also currently very difficult, with many lost shipments (with no recourse). We would like to discourage orders/subscriptions from this region until the situation improves somewhat.

Most Asian countries are still accepting ...

The current status information page (in English) maintained by the Japanese Post Office is here (.pdf).

If you are in a 'stopped' country, you have two options: place your order and we will 'hold' the shipment until the situation improves ... or please hold off, and come back to place an order later. Thank you for your understanding.